IT proved a bad toss to win at Taunton this morning and after choosing to bat Paul Collingwood went in with his side on 24 for four.
But he and Scott Borthwick, who has made 48, took the score to 89 for four at lunch, helped partly by the controlled swing of Alfonso Thomas and Peter Trego being replaced by the raw pace of the Overton twins.
Borthwick at one point took 14 off four balls from Jamie Overton before the next one flew at great pace past his nostrils.
Collingwood spoke in advance of how on seeing a green pitch at Taunton it’s always tempting to bowl. But those who do that usually regret it and it wasn’t so much the surface as the muggy atmosphere which caused problems.
The ball swung and, unlike the Durham bowlers on the first day against Yorkshire, Somerset’s experienced new ball men controlled it well.
In the third over Mark Stoneman aimed to drive Thomas through mid-off and the ball swung just enough to pass through the gate and bowl him for two.
Two overs later Keaton Jennings drove a half volley to the extra cover boundary and when the next ball was predictably short he seemed surprised by the bounce. An edge flew high to first slip’s right, where James Hildreth held a fine catch.
A few very heavy drops of rain briefly interrupted play before Michael Richardson, who had looked comfortable, shaped to play Trego through square leg off the back foot and was adjudged lbw for seven.
Phil Mustard, back up to No 5 despite his lack of form, edged the next ball to first slip.
A four driven gloriously through extra cover by Borthwick off Jamie Overton was the shot of the morning and was followed by a square drive for another boundary.
On 36 he fended Craig Overton just out short leg’s reach and had to throttle back when the twins were replaced by Trego and left-arm spinner George Dockrell. Collingwood has looked very secure in reaching 24.
Next in for Durham is Gordon Muchall, playing his first championship game for two years. Then comes off-spinner Ryan Pringle, making his four-day debut in place of Usman Arshad.